Settlements in securities class-action cases in 2020 were in line with previous years, despite the COVID-19 pandemic disruption, according to a report released Wednesday by Cornerstone Research.
The report, Securities Class Action Settlements: 2020 Review and Analysis, found that courts approved 77 settlements totaling $4.2 billion in 2020, up from the 74 settlements totaling $2.1 billion the previous year. Moreover, the median settlement value in 2020 — $10.1 million — was down 13% from 2019 but was still 19% higher than the prior nine-year median. The average settlement amount in 2020 was $54.5 million, representing a 15% increase over the prior nine-year average, the report said.
"Any disruption in settlement rates as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have been temporary, with the overall number of settlements for 2020 in line with recent years," said Laura E. Simmons, a Cornerstone Research senior adviser and report co-author, in a news release. "It will likely be at least a couple of years before we learn whether COVID-19-related allegations have had an impact on other settlement trends."